Ecclestone seeks to settle German bribery case

Tue Jul 29, 2014 12:28pm EDT
 
Email This Article |
Share This Article
  • Facebook
  • LinkedIn
  • Twitter
| Print This Article | Single Page
[-] Text [+]

By Jörn Poltz

MUNICH Germany (Reuters) - Lawyers for Formula One boss Bernie Ecclestone held talks with German prosecutors on Tuesday to try to settle a bribery trial that threatens his grip on the motor sport.

Ecclestone, 83, went on trial in Munich in April over allegations he bribed a former German banker as part of the sale of a major stake in the motor sport business eight years ago.

If convicted, the British billionaire could face up to 10 years in jail and would have to cede control of a business he has built up over the past four decades.

"Public prosecutors and the defense are discussing the possibility of an agreement," a spokesman for the German authorities said.

Media reports said Ecclestone, who denies wrongdoing, on Tuesday offered to pay German state-owned bank BayernLB 25 million euros ($33.5 million) to help settle the case. There was no immediate comment from his defense team.

Prosecutors have rejected a request from the defense to drop proceedings on the grounds of a lack of evidence.

Under German law, a settlement payment to a party involved would not necessarily bring a criminal case to an end.

The court said in a statement that talks on an agreement could continue, but it also scheduled a further hearing in the case for next Tuesday.   Continued...

 
Formula One Chief Executive Bernie Ecclestone arrives in court in Munich July 15, 2014. REUTERS/Michaela Rehle